Judicial Watch • Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano Archives | Judicial Watch

Here is a juicy exchange— ignored by the mainstream media—featuring Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano getting hammered at a congressional oversight hearing for being clueless about two critical national security breaches.

For those who thought Napolitano’s delusional Mexican border assessment (“as secure as it has ever been”) was scary, consider these latest lapses from the presidential cabinet official charged with protecting the nation from terrorism. She had no idea that an Egyptian Islamic terrorist recently obtained a visa and met with top White House and State Department officials or that a Muslim member of her staff (Mohamed Elibiary) leaked classified information to a reporter.

At least that’s what she claimed during a recent Homeland Security Oversight hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee. Warning; the video of Napolitano’s testimony, posted on the official House website of the Texas congressman doing the grilling, is painful to watch. Not only does she get clobbered, Madam Secretary looks a bit like a deer in headlights, eyes beaming as she struggles to answer hard-hitting questions that shed a very disturbing light on her job performance.

Once you get over the anger of Napolitano’s incompetence, fear may set it since the country’s security essentially rides on her shoulders. Testifying before the committee, the former Arizona governor claimed to know nothing about the U.S. granting visas to Hani Nour Eldin, a member of Gamaa Islamiya, an Egyptian Islamic group that’s been officially designated a terrorist organization by her own government. One mainstream newspaper called it a “political fiasco” that should have raised a red flag and banned Eldin from entering the United States, let alone White House and State Department meetings.

Napolitano also dodged questions about another shameful incident involving Elibiary, a one-time member of the Texas Department of Public Safety Advisory Board that serves on her Homeland Security Advisory Council. Last year Elibiary leaked highly sensitive intelligence documents marked “For Official Use Only” to a media outlet, according to an investigative news report. The media outlet reportedly declined to do the story which was supposed to expose the department’s promotion of “Islamophobia.”

President Obama’s controversial plan to spare nearly 1 million young illegal immigrants from deportation has received lots of media attention, but most Americans may not realize the administration is also working behind the scenes granting stealth amnesty to many more undocumented aliens.

It’s bad enough that the commander-in-chief has blown off Congress by giving “young people brought to the United States through no fault of their own as children” a chance at U.S. citizenship. Except for those who live under a rock, practically everyone has been exposed to some sort of news coverage involving the heavily promoted amnesty for young illegals.

There was a Rose Garden press conference and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a bilingual announcement explaining the “deferred action process” for illegal immigrants brought to the United States as young children. They will receive deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and will be eligible to apply for work authorization. U.S. immigration laws are not designed to “remove productive young people to countries where they may not have lived or even speak the language,” said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. 

There won’t be any formal announcements or White House press conferences about the secret amnesty however, but it’s in full force. Just take a look at the latest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) figures released by a nonprofit university group dedicated to researching the U.S. government. The nonpartisan New York-based data research center, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), provides detailed information about the operation of hundreds of government agencies. Immigration is one of many areas it researches.

As of the end of May, 4,585 deportation cases were closed under a special ICE program created last summer to conduct “an unprecedented review of all immigration cases pending in the immigration courts and incoming cases.” That’s Obama DHS code for backdoor amnesty. By early this year, the plan was underway with a record amount of illegal immigrants spared from deportation and a huge increase in the number of those allowed to remain in the United States. TRAC provided those figures as well back in February.  

The number continues rising, according to TRAC’s latest findings. The amount of pending deportations canceled through “prosecutorial discretion” nearly doubled from the previous quarter with the Los Angeles Immigration Court leading the nation with the largest number of closures (534) under this special amnesty initiative. Denver was second with 401 and San Francisco third with 387. Here is a chart with a breakdown by location.

These Homeland Security figures aren’t easy to obtain for a group that’s become a rather painful thorn for the administration. After engaging in a fierce legal battle with ICE over records involving immigration enforcement, TRAC finally obtained them and earlier this year made them public. The records show that ICE repeatedly lied to Congress, the American people and the media by drastically increasing the number of individuals that have been apprehended, deported or detained.

Nearly a decade after Congress passed a crucial security measure to prevent a repeat of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Obama Administration finally plans to implement the law next year after much stalling.

Known as the Real ID Act, the national identification measure was enacted in 2005 at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to verify the authenticity of every driver’s license applicant. It forces states to require that documents—such as a birth certificate or passport—submitted to get the card are legitimate and that the applicant is in the United States legally.

This goal is to establish a much-needed standardized national driver’s license system that will be less prone to fraud and will prevent terrorists from abusing it as did several of the 9/11 hijackers. New Mexico and Washington State still allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses and Utah offers them a special driving privilege card that can’t be used as official government identification.

The Real ID Act would kill those little deals. Under the measure a newly created federal database will link all licensing data that must be checked before states issue new cards. Residents of states that don’t comply with the law will be greatly inconvenienced because their driver’s licenses will not be accepted as proof of identification at airports, federal buildings or when applying for any sort of federal benefits.

Open borders groups have fought the measure, asserting that it violates civil liberties and privacy. The real issue however, is that once the law is enforced only legal residents will be allowed to get valid driver’s licenses. Caving into the powerful immigrant rights coalition, Obama Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano delayed implementing the Real ID Act in late 2009, claiming that it would inconvenience holiday travelers.

This week a top Homeland Security official told a congressional subcommittee on terrorism, technology and security that there will be no more delays in the implementation of the Real ID Act. That means the law will finally take effect in January of 2013, the last of several extensions granted to states by the agency.

Seven states have done little or nothing to comply with the new rules, according to a nonprofit crime prevention group that keeps track of the Real ID Act. The group was among the first to report on this week’s congressional hearing in which DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy David Heyman confirmed the agency “has no plan to extend” the latest deadline for state compliance.












While the nation’s Homeland Security secretary repeatedly assures Americans that the southern border is more secure than ever, a separate U.S. government agency has quietly issued an alarming report warning of “recent violent attacks and persistent security concerns” in the area.It’s like the Abbot and Costello version of government, where one agency can’t even coordinate with another to provide the country with a consistent story. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claims the Mexican border region is “as secure as it has ever been.” In fact, she embarked on a publicity tour to the area, using sound-bite opportunities to specifically deny that it’s infested with drug-cartel violence that often spills into the U.S.It’s all a mistaken “perception” because the area is in fact a “secure and prosperous” region, according to Napolitano. During a trip to El Paso Texas a few months ago, she claimed that “misinformation about safety” is negatively impacting border communities by driving visitors away and hurting local business. She proceeded to say that “some of America’s safest communities are in the southwest border region.” The media was invited to tag along and Madame Secretary’s proclamations appeared in newscasts worldwide.No such promotion of what appears to be a more accurate assessment, issued this week by the State Department, of the situation along the U.S.-Mexico border. Unlike Napolitano’s rose-colored glasses version, it mentions a “dramatic increase in violence” and nearly 30,000 narcotics-related murders in the last few years. The State Department report bluntly says that “the security situation along the Texas border has changed markedly from a year ago.”The culprits are sophisticated and heavily armed drug cartels competing with each other for trafficking routes into the U.S. In fact, a war between two notorious cartels has led to a “dramatic increase in violence” in two northern border regions, according to the State Department report issued this week by the agency’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). Large-scale gun battles often occur in broad daylight on streets and other public venues and U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area, according to the OSAC assessment.Using the term “narcoterrorism,” it goes on to say that “continued concerns regarding road safety along the Mexican border have prompted the U.S. Mission in Mexico to impose certain restrictions on U.S. government employees transiting the area.” Local authorities aren’t helping because “police corruption and police involvement in criminal activity continue to be a problem in Mexico.”As a result the violence is increasingly flowing north, even as the nation’s top Homeland Security official denies it. Just last summer a myriad of bullets fired into El Paso, striking City Hall and a public university building. The local sheriff said the gun battles are breaking out everywhere but his hands are tied because he’s legally forbidden from intervening in another country’s war. The disturbing incident inspired Texas’s Attorney General to send President Obama a letter saying his state is under constant assault from illegal activity threatening a porous border.

State and county officials who think they can drop out of a mandatory federal program that checks the immigration status of local arrestees have been misled by the Department of Homeland Security’s ambiguous orders.At least that’s the explanation offered by the agency’s beleaguered leader, Janet Napolitano, who finally clarified the matter to a growing number of local officials trying to get out of theSecure Communities program. Launched a few years ago, the initiative requires local authorities to check the fingerprints of arrestees against a federal database. The idea is to deport dangerous criminals, many of whom have fallen through the cracks over the years.But some local leaders refuse to participate in Secure Communities, mainly to protect illegal immigrants who they assert contribute to society. California has even created legislation to let any municipality in the state opt out of Secure Communities and Maryland’s MontgomeryCounty is on the verge of doing the same thing. These sorts of efforts have been going on for months as Napolitano, the Obama official in charge of protecting the nation’s safety, watched from the sidelines.This week she finally spoke out after a federal lawmaker accused the Department of Homeland Security of lying to counties and states by telling them that participating in Secure Communities was optional. Calling the agency’s actions “dissembling and deceiving,” theCalifornia congresswoman has ordered an investigation. If Napolitano knew about the lies, “something has to be done about her,” according to the congresswoman, Zoe Lofgren.Napolitano fired back, acknowledging that there has been “confusion” over the matter and that communications from her agency were “subject to misinterpretation.” However, Madame Secretary made clear that local governments cannot “exclude themselves” from participating in Secure Communities.

Violence along the Mexican border is merely a mistaken “perception” because the area is better now than it ever has been thanks to the Obama Administration’s commitment to “fostering a secure and prosperous” region.So says Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano who is beginning to sound like a desperate salesperson pushing a cheap product no one believes in. Napolitano’s latest pitch came this week at a port of entry in El Paso called theBridge of the Americas. Joined by a group of local business leaders and politicians, Napolitano jubilantly declared that the area is safe and “open for business.”Unfortunately, “misinformation about safety” is negatively impacting border communities by driving visitors away and hurting local businesses, Napolitano says. None of this is true, according to Madame Secretary who assures that “some ofAmerica’s safest communities are in the Southwest border region…” In fact, border city crime rates have remained steady or dropped over the past decade, Napolitano points out.The reality is that Mexican drug-cartel violence has reached epic proportions and routinely spills into the very towns Napolitano promotes as “America’s safest communities.” Federal agents have come under siege by heavily armed drug smugglers and local media has exposed record levels in crimes associated with illicit narcotics operations. In fact, more than 13,000 people were murdered across Mexicolast year in disturbing and cruel ways not previously seen.Ironically, Mexico’s most violent region (Ciudad Juarez) borders El Paso, the very place Napolitano chose to deliver this week’s rosy assessment. Last fall a myriad of bullets fired into El Paso, striking City Hall and a public university building. The local sheriff says the gun battles are breaking out everywhere but his hands are tied because he’s legally forbidden from intervening in another country’s war. The disturbing incident inspired Texas’s Attorney General to send President Obama aletter saying his state is under constant assault from illegal activity threatening a porous border.About a month later, amid escalating violence, Napolitano declared that the Mexican border “is as secure as it has ever been.” The famous words, ridiculed in the press worldwide, came days after U.S. Border Patrol agents engaged in a violent gunshot battle with Mexican drug smugglers along the Rio Grande in Texas. The federal officers came under siege during a bust that netted half a ton of U.S.-bound marijuana.

In a perpetual state of denial, Janet Napolitano insists that security along the Mexican border has been strengthened “in a way that many would not have thought possible,” even as drug-cartel violence reaches epic proportions and routinely spills into the U.S.The delusional assessment from the nation’s Homeland Security chief comes just a few months after her equally infuriating estimate that the southern border “is as secure as it has ever been.” Napolitano made that assertion in September, as violence escalated along the Mexican border and overwhelmed federal agents got attacked by heavily armed drug smugglers. In fact, days before Madam Secretary made that brilliant statement, Border Patrol agents came under siege during a bust that netted half a ton of U.S.-bound marijuana.As the crisis worsens, Napolitano continues to paint a rosy picture that certainly diminishes her credibility as the top official responsible for keeping the nation safe. During a speech at a Texas university this week she said that the Obama Administration’s “unprecedented effort” to intensify southwest border security “is working” and that the nation’s “partnership with Mexico is strong.” The U.S.government has given Mexico more than $1 billion in the last few years to combat drug violence, though its worst than ever.Napolitano did acknowledge that there are still “challenges” and that she’s “deeply concerned about the drug cartel violence taking place in Mexico.” That’s probably because the sophisticated operations have taken over northern portions of the notoriously corrupt Latin American country and the U.S. is feeling the spillover effects.In fact, Mexico’s most violent region (Ciudad Juarez) borders El Paso and the situation is so serious that bullets from shootouts among rival smugglers regularly spill into the city, once ranked among the nation’s safest. One example took place a few months ago when a myriad of bullets fired into El Paso, striking City Hall and a public university building. The local sheriff says the gun battles are breaking out everywhere but his hands are tied because he’s legally forbidden from intervening in another country’s war.Napolitano agrees that the U.S. must guard against such “spillover effects,” but insists that it “is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the border is overrun with violence and out of control.” That statement is often made to “score political points,” Napolitano says, and it is “just plain wrong.” To assure that our southern neighbors get the speech, the Department of Homeland Security has posted aSpanish version on its web site.

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